NHL Hall of Famer Park slams Bruins' Ference for PA comments

TSN.ca Staff
9/24/2009 12:21:22 PM
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Hall of Famer Brad Park has chimed in on the ongoing public feud between National Hockey League players and the Players' Association's 30-member executive board.

Responding to remarks made by Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference to Boston Globe reporter Fluto Shinzawa on Wednesday, the former Bruins defenceman voiced his displeasure with Ference.

''Let me tell Andrew Ference, one defenceman to another, he should spend more time worrying about going back to get the puck than to worry about Paul Kelly's ability to do the job as head of the PA,'' Park told the Globe. ''When [Ference] was in junior, I assume he wasn't going to college...so I ask, what makes him so [expletive] smart?! They had a guy like Chris Chelios in that room [in Chicago] who disagreed, told them to wait and think.

''Maybe guys like Ference should take time to listen to guys who are older and smarter.''

Chelios, a veteran union man, was reportedly one of the few who voted against Kelly's firing.

Park's harsh remarks came on the heels of Ference's comments earlier in the day when he suggested that Kelly were hired by only five PA members, but those executive board members failed to poll the players when it came time to vote on Kelly's firing.

''Guys that say, 'Oh, you need to have everybody vote on something that big,' well, we had five guys voting on hiring [Kelly],'' Ference told the Globe's Shinzawa. ''I didn't hear too many guys complaining about the process of hiring him. We didn't have 740 guys vote on that.''

Kelly declined comment when contacted by the Globe, but his attorney, H. James Hartley, released a statement that came as a result of Ference's printed comments.

''Unfortunately, due to confidentiality restraints, Paul Kelly continues to be limited in what he can say publicly, wrote Hartley. ''Unlike others, he continues to play by the rules.

''We have heard many after the fact public rationales for Paul's 3:30 a.m. termination. In employment, as with many areas of life, continuous shifting of rationales and throwing things against the wall hoping one might stick is a classic tactic of those seeking to hide their real motives.

"An objective and bona fide review of the facts by neutral parties would shine light on what really happened and why.''

Kelly was fired after a 10-hour meeting in a Chicago boardroom that ended in the early morning of Aug. 31. Ian Penny replaced Kelly in the interim, while the NHLPA looks for Kelly's successor.

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